It is this simple. The President is a tax cheat. He paid $750 dollars in 2016 and 17 according to the New York Times in a bomb shell report. He also paid no taxes for over a decade of tax returns.
There is more from the lede of the article which also matters for the country.
As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.
Now let me make this clear. People with a lot of debt are not considered for national security jobs. If you have a clearance, this is a good way to lose it. Why? You are much easier to manipulate. The president has so much debt coming up that it will be even easier to pull strings.
However, this is the principle of the whole thing. He considers anybody who serves the country, either in the military or the civil service, to be stupid. Why? Cheating on the IRS is also a good way to lose your clearance and your job. He is a man concerned about cheating others and maintaining the illusion of great wealth. He also has transferred vast amounts to his children in deals that are not very clear, and look more like self-dealing. This will be for the DOJ to determine, in the future. For the moment, the DOJ is under the control of an ally that will not do what has to happen.
Realize, he thinks that he is smart because he avoids paying taxes. While the rest of us, regular Joes and Janes, pay a lot more every year, therefore we are idiots. He says he loves the military. We pay for the military. He claims to want infrastructure, taxes pay that. We also pay for schools, scientific research, the police he claims to love, the fire service, and national parks. Taxes also pay for some limited medical care, and for a slew of services that most of us are not aware of. Taxes are the price of civilized society. We are fools to contribute our fair share. That is the view of the president.
He is also not as wealthy as he claims to be. Those of us who have been paying attention suspected that there were debts coming. Now we know for sure. According to the Times:
In fact, those public filings offer a distorted picture of his financial state, since they simply report revenue, not profit. In 2018, for example, Mr. Trump announced in his disclosure that he had made at least $434.9 million. The tax records deliver a very different portrait of his bottom line: $47.4 million in losses.
And within the next four years, more than $300 million in loans — obligations for which he is personally responsible — will come due.
This shows a man who is in danger of having to declare bankruptcy. He also paid his daughter money as a consultant in amounts that raise a red flag. These payments were claimed as business expenses. Is this self-dealing, or just avoiding taxes?
Then there are the shell companies and foreign tax heavens. Donald Trump has many friends who have them, and he does as well. His name appears in the Panama Papers database. He has little imagination I suppose, and Mossack-Fonseca did not advise him to use another name. This is the whole universe of people associated with him who have offshore accounts by the way. And for my friends in larger media, do a general search on the database for the Panama Papers.
This is why the president has but one goal, reduce the taxes of people who have a lot of money and seek more. He does not care about the little people. From those who have left the administration, we know he despises his base, for example.
We must ask if there is a criminal liability to the president at this point? If he has shell companies, that will raise red flags. If he is self-dealing, that will also raise them.
What is true is that Trump is running the country the same way he runs his business…into the ground. He is also desperate to remain in office because he will not be able to squash what is coming as a private citizen. And what is coming is far more than just an audit from the Internal Revenue Service. We know because the Southern District of New York and state courts are pursuing the scent of what looks like a white-collar crime.
His base will believe him when he says this is fake news. That is all they know to do. He already called this exactly that and the White House is in full attack mode with the Media. That is all they know how to do as well.
What we also know is that Trump is a kleptocrat, who has yet to learn how to funnel federal money to his own accounts. He is not a very good kleptocrat, just like he is not a very good businessman. While he’s lived a life of luxury, it’s all an illusion.
This is now clear.
Will his base finally say enough? Hardly. They love him for sticking it to the man, even if they have to pay more taxes than he. They also know one day they will be as wealthy as Trump. This is a more expansive version of the prosperity gospel ideology, with hints of authoritarianism and rank fascism.